The annual tradition of fishing with my stepson was re scheduled for the unofficial Boxing day as Saturday didn't fall right for either of our plans and schedules. And quite befitting as it turned out, but more of that later.
Peter messaged me at 7.30 am to say he'd had a rough night with the grandsons and had only just woken up. He'd get himself together and be round as soon as possible. I told him not to break his neck, the water would still be there and I was eyeing up a packet of bacon in the fridge and some seeded ciabatta rolls, what did he think? A second or two later my phone bleeped and the text read "You legend! Brown sauce on mine please. X"
So after a tentative leisurely start we drove the short distance to my syndicate brickyard pool to bother the pike, armed with personalized monogrammed 'match day' floats and a few 8 year old vintage sprats I managed to chisel from the back of the freezer.
One can quite correctly surmise that the fishing is not taken too seriously but more of a chance to kick back in the chair, relax and put the world to rights.
Besides, after a few days gorging on cold meat platters there was only the proverbial fat left to chew.
Peter had a problem he valued my opinion on, and listening to him it was apparent that I could offer some advice.
He has found himself suffering from anxiety and stress of late and I listened while he unburdened himself by outlining the synopsis.
It was evident from asking him a few psychologically leading questions where the answer lay. You see, when he goes fishing for days on end, as soon as he passes through the gateway on his syndicate lake, his brain switches off from all else. He won't think about anything else but locating the carp, how he will plan his assault and how peaceful it is. This is his focal points for the next few days.
He doesn't care if there is work projects precariously nearing deadlines, targets falling short or addressing deficit liabilities.
He doesn't think about his family affairs, have to worry about the wife and kids and doesn't spare a thought for anyone. He's a self confessed egotistical self -centred angler and that's all there is to it. And bugger anyone else.
No problem there then, everything as it should be. It's how he unwinds, relaxes and is precisely why he goes fishing.
The perceptible problem lies between work and home. He tries to be a husband and father using his work ethic of systematizing everything and everybody. He's always writing action plans and lists. The boys being 3 and 1 year old respectively do not conform or care for order and rules and Peter sees this as his failure when they don't comply. And yet he'll go to work as a caring considerate father/husband, often taking other peoples responsibilities and workloads off their shoulders and burdening himself in the process. The imminent and impending problem then is making him feel anxious, stressed, and unable to relax.
I pointed out a telltale pick up and drop on my float and reeled in to re-bait. Once I'd recast and settled back in the chair I gave him my twopenny worth.
It will be hard but he had to try and leave work at the proverbial 'gateway' and become devoted father and husband I know he is. Become absorbed in work during work hours and stop trying to manage the family and just enjoy them. Stop writing lists and play it by ear, And go fishing more. Simples!
Not much on the fishing front today but wonderful to share a few hours quality time with the lad. I think we both got our fix regardless of the lack of fish. Come to think of it, I can't remember either of us ever catching much on our boxing day trips. We both look forward to it every year regardless and always keen to 'bag up' on those precious moments.
He mentioned that he hadn't given me chance to unload my worries or concerns onto him as we packed away, and asked if I was worried about anything I wished to get off my chest. "I do have one concern" I said,
"I hope its not bloody cold meat again for tea!"